“To godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
and to brotherly kindness love
We come now to the seventh and final characteristic the believer should add to his faith. “Love” is the apex of the pyramid of the seven.
“Brotherly kindness” is the love of friendship. The second word for “love” is divine, self-sacrificing, one-way love that is free to relate. We take his definition from a summary of the use of this term in the New Testament. We can see God’s unconditional love for those who did not love Him in John 3:16. His love was both unconditional and based on His character, not on whether man loved Him back.
Jn 11:5, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”
Jn 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Ro 5:5, 8, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us….
8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Ga 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Eph 2:4, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.”
When we walk in love, we do not hate anyone. We do not allow bitterness, vindictiveness, or jealousy to control our thoughts and actions. Thus, we are free to relate to others. We love them based on our own character, not their character.
God wants us to make progress in our Christian life.
Now that we have come to the end of the seven characteristics that we are to add to our faith, how do you measure up? Grade yourself. Can you go through these seven items and conclude that you pass the test of all seven? Or, would you have to say, “I am deficient in this category. I flunked that course. I have not done so well in a couple of other areas as well. I am a spiritual drop out in these categories.” The remedy to this is “add to your faith….”
God expects us to make progress in the faith, not to remain static in our Christian life. God has not graduated us yet. We need to continue to take courses in God’s school of the Christian life. God will give us our final grade at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We cannot wait until we get there to start moving. If we do, we will make a poor showing. We might have flunked the mid-term, but there is still time before the final comes. Some of us may not have much time.